The exercise equipment gathering dust in Americans' bedrooms and basements is a familiar sign of the way New Year's resolutions often are quickly abandoned. But a few resolutions you'll not only want to make – but also stick with involve being more prudent about insurance.
That means spending wisely and getting the coverage that matters most. It's a good idea to start each year by taking stock of your coverage because auto, home, life and other insurance needs change over time -- as you move, switch jobs, add to your family, finish that basement project, change vehicles and grow older.
When you have to use your insurance, the last thing you want is to learn that you don't have enough coverage. But you also want to make sure you aren't carrying more insurance than you really need.
Here are some New Year's resolutions to help you fine-tune your insurance policies.
Auto insurance is a competitive market – one that often has carriers that offer really low introductory rates – only to raise them slowly overtime – the consumer kinda is like the frog who sits in the water despite the rising tempurture – the frog will not jump out even when the water comes to a boil because of the SLOW rise in temperature. That is what MANY auto insurance carriers do to consumers – DON’T BE A FROG – check those rates against others at renewal!
Consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage on older vehicles to save money, he adds. Collision pays the costs of repairing cars following accidents, while comprehensive pays for losses not caused by accidents, such as theft or fire damage. Since your insurance company will repair or replace only up to the value of the vehicle, paying for full coverage on an aging car may not be worth it.
BE CAREFUL DRIVING – Tickets and accidents only drive your rates higher!
The start of a new year is a great time to update the inventory of your possessions. You'll need an accurate list if you ever have to make a home insurance claim.
If you don't want to take time to write things down,-- a very common way is to make a video recording of your home. If there is a theft, you can go back and say “I had this stuff.”
Consider a special rider to cover expensive items that may exceed the limits of your home policy.
If you have a big flat-screen TV that costs $2,500, you may want to schedule that separately. The cost for a rider is usually pretty cheap. You can make sure your TV is covered for everything, including your 6-year-old kid hitting a ball through it.
Finally, make sure your home insurance coverage remains high enough if you ever have to repair or rebuild at today's construction prices.
As you launch into a new year, look for ways to cut life insurance costs – YES cut cost!
Did you lose weight? Stop smoking? Off your meds? All of those could get you a preferred rate!
Also – buy from a reputable company – not that slick salesman at church with a cheap product from a company you have never heard of is likely not going to pay on that claim.
With all the changes that have happened in financial markets, it has never been a more important time to check the financial strength of a company!
Want to trim your health insurance costs in the new year? The best way is to resolve to become more educated and informed about your health care, -- that helps consumers navigate the health care system.
For healthy people who rarely go to the doctor, it may make sense to seek lower premiums through a higher insurance deductible.
You could be paying a lot of money to get a richer benefit package and you may not use it, – most people want to protect themselves against catastrophic medical costs. ... People are starting to realize, if they do the numbers, they will save a lot of money and they still will have decent coverage."
If you have no health insurance, minimal insurance or a high-deductible plan, you may be able to save money by negotiating whenever you receive a medical bill. The key is to not be shy about asking for a break. Many hospitals and doctors will give those who ask politily for a reduced bill if they can do it!
I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and I look forward to talking with you in 2017!
For those procrastinators – ummm the holiday are upon us! Here are some really good last minute tips for holiday shopping.
Make a List and Check it Twice
One of the biggest traps of last-minute shopping is going over budget. Before you brave any store, make a list of how much you'd like to spend on each person you are buying for, and stick to it. Resist the urge to keep shopping for the perfect gift, and leave the store as soon as you've crossed everyone off your list.
Set a Time Limit
Retailers have a few tricks up their sleeves to get you to linger in their stores, such as playing catchy holiday music and scenting the air with pleasant holiday smells, making it more likely you'll buy something on impulse. SET A REAL TIME LIMIT – Use your electronic piece of toast (phone) you carry around to warn you when you have exceeded your time in that store. The longer you shop the more you spend – pretty elementary!
Most online retailers guarantee delivery up to a few days before Christmas, so skip the mall and shop online for your gifts instead. You can avoid the hustle and bustle of the holiday crowds, and you can either ship your gifts right to the recipient, or have them sent to you.
HELLO – if you have not figured this out yet – ONLINE is the way to go – avoid the crowds – most companies are great about returns – and more importantly you can find one of kind items not sold in your traditional malls or box stores!
Food Never FailsThe way to anyone's heart is through their stomach, right? If you're a whiz of a baker, whip up a batch of your special cookies to give as gifts. If you want to give something tangible, wrap them up on a pretty cookie platter or in a festive holiday tin.
I love food who doesn’t!
Shop on Christmas Eve
We know — waiting until the day before Christmas to shop sounds like a terrible idea. But think of it this way — most people are finished by Christmas Eve, meaning the malls will be less crowded, allowing you to shop with your people – you know other panicky procrastinators like yourself!
Know When to Stop (No there is no 1-800- I have a shopping problem – but there should be for some people!)
Once you've bought for everyone on your list, stop shopping. It sounds simple enough, but often times, the urge to find the perfect gift compels anxious shoppers to keep going. Just because your gift is last-minute does not mean it's inadequate-- no one knows when you purchased or made it!
Re-gifting is not a dirty word!
If it's come down to the wire and you're really in a bind, considering re-gifting as a last resort. Just make sure your gift doesn't fall into the hands of someone who might find out your secret — or worse — into the hands of the person who originally gave it to you!
From all of us at Herrholtz insurance Agency –- have a VERY MERRY Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Make your one of your New Year’s Resolution (one that you can keep) to call us at 440-527-0304 – We would love to save you some money in 2017!
The winter holiday season is, unfortunately, also prime fire season. This time of year is just full of possible fire hazards from – wood-stoves and furnaces to all the holiday lights Chevy Chase Style that can cause extra strain on electrical systems. Candles create a that cozy warm atmosphere, but must be constantly watched. Reduce the chance of fire by observing these common-sense precautions.
Replace lights that flicker or have loose connections, frayed or cracked insulation, or corroded sockets. With the price of lights why take the chance – it is just as easy to swap them out and buy a new set rather than chance the fire your 15 year old set could cause!
Do not overload your outlets, and avoid extension cords whenever possible. OK – We all end up using lots of extension cords – so be careful and minimize that usage when possible! Unplug all lights when leaving your home or going to bed. All lights should be UL approved – check the packages those cheapo lights are often not UL approved!
Always place candles in sturdy, tip-resistant candle-holders. Keep them away from curtains, drapes, decorations, or other flammable materials. DUH! I know common sense but you will be amazed at how careless we can be during the Christmas Season – Don't leave them burning unattended or within the reach of small children. Extinguish candles by wetting the wick before you leave a room or go to bed.
If you use a real Christmas tree, make sure it's fresh. Trim the trunk two inches before putting it up, and use a large, non-tipping water-holding tree stand. Locate it away from heating ducts, hallways, doorways or any busy area, and keep it watered or risk the Uncle Lewis effect!
If you are using an artificial tree, be sure it is flame retardant.
KITCHENAs you prepare to entertain during the holiday season, traffic and activity in your kitchen may change dramatically, but basic kitchen safety rules don't change at all. In all the fuss, pay extra attention to the little things: keep pot handles turned inward, keep combustibles away from flames, and keep children and pets from underfoot while you're working with the hot stuff!
I know these may seem a little obvious – but a friendly reminder is always in good order – we want this season to be filled with family and joy – so safety should be a top priority.
Call the Herrholtz Insurance Agency at 440-527-0304 for all your insurance needs!
Source: National Safety Council
As the holiday’s approach – travel is often in ones future – whether it’s traveling on a freeway to a relatives house or on a plane to some far off destination. We commonly make serious mistakes as we travel – whether during the Holiday’s or as the Europeans would say on Holiday we often make these mistakes:
WHOA -- WINTER IS COMING ARE YOU READY??With plenty of snow and cold temperatures predicted for the northern United States this winter, it is important to prepare your home and review your insurance coverageaccording to the Insurance Institute.
The 2016 Farmers Almanacpredicts snowier conditions than normal for the northern and central Great Plains, New England and parts of the Ohio Valley. In the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, the winter skies will be stormy and likely to drop a good amount of snow.
Water damage, which can be caused by snowy conditions, and freezing account for almost 22 percent of all homeowners insurance claims and are the third-largest cause of losses, behind only hurricanes and tornadoes. Winter storm related catastrophes in the U.S. caused $2.3 billion in insured losses in 2014, up from $1.9 billion in 2013! From 1994 to 2013 winter storms resulted in about $27 billion in insured U.S. catastrophe losses (in 2013 dollars), or more than $1 billion a year on average, according to Property Claim Services (PCS).
Standard homeowners and renters policies cover winter related damage, such as that caused by burst pipes, ice dams and wind, as well as damage caused by either weight of ice or snow.
Coverage for flooding, including flooding caused by melting snow, is available from FEMA’s national flood Insurance program (NFIP). Melting snow can also overburden sewer systems, causing raw sewage to back up into the drains in your home. Backed up sewers can cause thousands of dollars in damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Sewer back up coverage can be purchased either as a separate product or as an endorsement to your homeowners or renters policies. I always include this coverage and make my clients tell me to remove it! Check your homeowners policy to make sure you have this included!
Beyond making sure they have the proper insurance coverage, there are also steps homeowners can take to protect their homes before the official start of winter on Monday, December 21, 2015.Outside Your HomeClean out gutters. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris so melting snow and ice can flow freely. This can prevent ice damming, a condition in which water seeps into the house, potentially damaging ceilings and walls.
Install gutter guards to prevent debris from entering the gutter and interfering with the flow of water away from the house and into the ground.
Trim trees and remove dead branches. Ice, snow and wind can cause weak trees or branches to break and damage your home or car, or injure someone walking by your property.Inside your homeTune up your furnace! -- It is always a good idea to change the filters and get an expert to inspect and prepare your furnace for the coming winter months!
Reverse your ceiling fans! --- Yes there are two modes on a ceiling fan -- one for winter and one for summer -- Make sure your ceiling fans are set for winter!
Caulk windows and doors --- A 6 dollar tube of caulk can save you $100's this winter -- take some time to caulk windows and doors.
Fireplace CLEANED -- if you have one make sure it is professionally cleaned to prevent chimney fires!
These are just a few tips -- as always if you want more information or simply need a quote call me at 440-527-0304!
STAY WARM MY FRIENDS!
Source: Insurance Information Institute